On MSNBC's "AM Joy," a panel of legal experts ripped into President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani for his now-abandoned plan to ask the Ukrainian government to help him dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, agreeing that if he had gone through with it, he would have faced criminal charges.
"Joy, I think the reason Rudy canceled his trip here is ... that his conduct was tantamount to a conspiracy and probably would have been an outright violation of the law," said former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance. "He said he was going to Ukraine to get them to engage in an investigation that would benefit Donald Trump. He was going over to make the offer for Ukraine to enter into a conspiracy with him. That would not have been difficult for prosecutors to prove even with that valuation issue."
"Great point," said host Joy Reid. "And Glenn Kirschner, I want to get you in on that, because Rudy Giuliani, a lot of people forget he was a U.S. attorney. He used to be a guy whose job it was to uphold the laws of the United States. He now seems to be freelancing as a consigliere to Trump, irrespective of any respect for the law. This is a guy who has a bunch of foreign clients. After 9/11 he formed a firm that's got a lot of foreign clients. He sounds a little bit like Paul Manafort, to be blunt, in the makeup of what he did for a living. How close would he have been skating? Do you agree with Joyce that he would have been outright potentially violating the law had he started going around the country and personally looking for dirt on Donald Trump's 2020 opponents?"
"How close would he have been skating? He would have fallen right through the thin ice," said Kirschner, also an ex-federal prosecutor. "And how in the world — it's not like Rudy Giuliani didn't know, hmm, there might be some issue with me colluding with a foreign power to get dirt on a political adversary."
"By the president refusing to condemn this, he's encouraging it," Kirschner added. "He is all but saying, 'Russia, if you are listening, 2020 is coming up. We are going to need your help again.' If we don't start wrestling with some of these reforms you know we are going to be in a very sorry place as a republic."